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SCOLD, one who scolds, i.e. chides, finds fault with or rebukes with violence or persistence or vituperation. It is usually a term applied to women, and a " common scold " (in Low Lat. communis rixatrix) was indictable in England at common law as a public nuisance, special instruments of punishment being devised in the " branks " or " scold's bridle," and the " cucking stool." The word is apparently an adaptation of the Norse skald, skald or scald, a poet, and according to the New English Dictionary the intermediate meaning through which the sense develops is " libeller " or " lampooner." Skeat derives from Du. schold, .schellen, and takes the word as originally meaning a loud talker, cf. Icel. skjalla, to clash, Ger. schallen. The Norse word is also to be connected in this case, the " skald " being one who talks loudly.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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